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Flexible Management Models

October 3, 20063 October 2006

Arts management / Human resources / Diversity

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This report examines flexible management models for artists, collectives and small arts organizations, based on a literature review, funding program information as well as discussions with arts agency staff, arts foundation staff, artists, arts organizations, agents and producers.

With “an environment of rapid change and instability and a lack of financial and human resources”, the report argues that traditional models of arts management do not work for all artists and arts organizations. “As the growth of the arts sector is outstripping the available resources – human, time, financial, material and space – new administrative and technical frameworks will be required” to ensure that the arts continue to thrive.

According to the report, there are more artists “working in non-formal, non-institutional formats, including crossing the boundaries between not-for-profit and for-profit” and the boundaries between disciplines. Given the frequent crossing of boundaries, “hybridity is emerging as a major theme” and “arts entities must remain flexible and responsive”.

The report argues that there is a “need to expand the primary focus on organizations and institutions”, because “the focus for many artists and arts entities will be on developing networks and the need to build an ecology of shared resources”.

The report recommends that there be training, development and mentoring programs in place to assist administrators, managers, producers and agents. Key individuals working in non-institutional administrative and management frameworks should also be supported.

The report also recommends that non-institutional organizing frameworks for management, administrative and production entities be supported. Some examples of these non-institutional organizing frameworks are cluster management entities, umbrella management organizations, independent agents, collaborative and cooperative ventures, and multi-function centres.

Arts service organizations are encouraged to find ways to ensure that non-institutional arts entities have membership and professional development opportunities.

In terms of funding, the report recommends that multi-year project production programs be explored and that long-term project grants be available for the administrative development of the arts.

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